Intelligent Disobedience – A Means of Avoiding Remorse

By Bob McGannon on October 10, 2017

Remorse is lasting. It is the conclusion of an emotional path starting with apprehension, then fear, emptiness, and finally remorse. This emotional pathway is launched in several ways, including:

  • Taking a course of action you believe is unproductive or detrimental.
  • Standing on the sidelines and watching something fall short of expectations.
  • Failing to follow through on a strong, intuitive thought.
  • Supporting or taking an action that compromises your integrity.

The timing of the journey through the emotional path to remorse can progress quickly. Other times it takes many months. However, each story or situation ends the same way, with remorse as an emotional burden that isn’t easily discarded.

The good news is wisely deploying intelligent disobedience can spare you from traversing this unhappy pathway.

Interestingly enough, your intelligent disobedience doesn’t have to succeed to avoid this emotional trap. Action and positive intent is the anecdote to remorse. People rarely express remorse over actions they undertook with positive intent, even if those actions failed to provide the desired end result. Falling short of achieving the right outcome might create regrets, but those are temporary and something we can quickly learn from. You can take solace from “trying to do what was right.”

There are four elements to ensuring your intelligently disobedient remorse remedy works as planned:

Trust your intuition – Your intuitive thoughts should be translated into meaningful action, the rationale for which you can explain to others. To follow through on your intuition, start by validating assumptions. If you can validate, activate!

Accepting short term discomfort for long term results – Taking action to avoid remorse often will make things uncomfortable! After all, intelligent disobedience involves bending rules, breaking rules or performing acts that are unusual or against the grain of expected behavior. If you are to avoid remorse, you have to be prepared to accept short term scrutiny.

Exchange information to guide your outcome – Share your views, and understand why you feel as you do. Ask questions of others, and listen intensely. Information breeds understanding, and understanding is paramount to navigating issues wisely, generating intended outcomes.

Tap into your moral compass – Taking action you don’t believe in, or not taking action when you feel something needs to change is the seed for remorse. Explore your gut for ethics triggers -and, like intuition – follow what your body and mind tell you.

You can vanquish remorse from your work life if you recognize the start of the remorse journey, and act intently to change outcomes you may otherwise carry as a long term burden.

Bob McGannon

Director at Intelligent Disobedience Leadership

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